Sun, Beer and Costumes – Off-Day in Vannes

With a day off riding today I had a good opportunity to go for a morning run again without having to get up too early.

Old Town was of course very quiet at 7am and I had those lovely buildings all to myself. Along the harbour I ran, past an exercise area with some simple machines and descriptions how to use them. Brilliant.

Then the ferry stop and into a lovely wooded area with plenty of trails. Shame I’d already run for over half an hour. Would’ve loved to explore more here, but instead I turned back.

Had a shower and craving for protein all I could find at the local supermarket was sardines in a tin, so I had those sitting on a bench outside trying not to make too much of a mess as I fished then out with my fingers.

Time to wake Rich, he’s had enough of a lie-in. Left 10:30 for breakfast. A huge Saturday market was on with heaps of fruit and veg and all sorts of other food and clothing etc. Massive. We found the most amazing Boulangerie as well with a long counter full of every stroke of bread or cake you can imagine.

Eight metres or so of pure yummyness!
Choices, choices. Which one shall I have??? I’d eat all of them.

Bought a sandwich for Rich, a salad for me and say by the harbour in the sun munching. What a nice day today with blue skies. Brilliant!

Walked the 20 minutes along the water to something I had come across on my morning run. Awen Brew Pub, right by the ferry stop had looked pretty good. Craft beers, coffees, brasserie had been advertised outside. We thought they might be open by 12.

Turned out they weren’t, but taking to one of their staff just going in, they actually had their opening night tonight from 6pm. Bingo!

Beers and a fresh smoothie across the road for us, then walked back into town again. I went back to the hotel for a snooze whilst Rich had a wander.

Rich having a go at the exercise machines on the way back.

I met up with him afterwards at a nice bar by harbour in the afternoon for a Mojito and Leffe. Why not.

Beers in the sun. Good times.

Then walked to ramparts for 16:30 for the procession. As it happened we were here on the same weekend as Vannes’ annual Fête Historique. In its 34th year, each time they choose an event or year from Vannes’ history which had been quite significant for the city. This year the theme was 1491 and the peace treaty King Charles VIII of France and Duchess Anne of Brittany had signed. Later that year Anne married King Charles.

All through the inner city after the market people had packed up were costumed groups performing, musicians playing and all of them gathered for a great procession. It was really nice to watch. Each group had one carrying a sign with the group’s name.

Went back to Brew Pub again afterwards and arrived 10mins after them opening. We really liked it a lot. Had some beer from their own micro brewery Awen and some Brittany IPA.

Love at first sight.
14 beers on tap. All from the local micro brewery or Britanny

Unfortunately, they didn’t do food yet, so we walked back into town. Lots of walking today! The first creperie had one spare table. Yay! At least this way we ticked off another typical Brittany thing. Whilst waking around we had seen at least a dozen creperies in town.

We both had Galette. Galette comes from the Norman word “gale” meaning “flat cake”. In French cuisine it refers to various types of flat round or free form crusty cakes. In Brittany it’s a pancake made from buckwheat with a savory topping.

Mine was with herring, potato, caviar and cream cheese. Rich had sausage, potato and mushrooms. For dessert we had sweet pancakes, and surely we were not the only ones going for two pancake themed courses 😁. The sweet ones were the ones we knew as crepes. Both very good once more.


Back at the hotel 21:30. As we walked back we saw the costumed folks all mingled in with “normal” people. It looked a bit funny seeing them eat burgers, taking on the phone or wearing sunglasses.

We felt both a bit sun bleached, but had had a brilliant chilled day. We’ve come to really like this place. Nice chilled yet vibrant atmosphere. And not to forget all the surrounding area which we had no time to explore. The islands, châteaus and small coastal villages.

We have to come back here!

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